“We must reckon with the possibility that something in the nature of the sexual instinct itself is unfavorable to the realization of complete satisfaction.” -Sigmund Freud

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CFP: European Geographies of Sexualities Conference (Brussels 8 – 10 September 2011)

Call for Papers: European Geographies of Sexualities Conference

Dates: 8th – 10th September 2011

Venue: Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel

[Please circulate widely. Translations are available at]

What we now recognise as the sub-disciplines of sexual and queer geography largely emerged out of the study of predominantly white gay male (and later, lesbian) spaces in the major urban centres of North America and north-western Europe. The range of work undertaken by geographers of sexualities has proliferated and diversified in the last two decades – it now addresses the lived experiences of trans people, queers of colour and working class LGBT people; and has expanded its geographical scope to study suburban and rural spaces, as well as countries beyond the West. And yet, perhaps because of its origins, there is still a tendency (held by many geographers who do not position themselves as working in the field of ‘sexual geography’) to conflate the field of geographies of sexualities with research on homosexuality and to assume such work has not addressed lives lived in other geographical contexts. This conference seeks to challenge and rectify those assumptions by providing an overview of the range of studies that have theorized the spatiality of sexualities, gender, sexual identities and sexual practices in (and beyond) European contexts.

This conference will, for the first time, bring together researchers from across Europe who study the spatial aspects of human sexuality. We expect participation from human geographers, as well as anthropologists, sociologists, planners, architects, political scientists, legal theorists and others. We welcome participation from non-academic researchers working for social movements, non-governmental organisations and in the policy community.

We encourage contributions in a diverse range of formats. Alongside traditional academic conference papers, we welcome panel discussions, open space discussions, film showings, installations and other contributions. We seek to foster networking, debate and discussions across national borders, across language communities, and across academic disciplines.

Conference sessions and contributions could include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

· Questioning the location of ‘Europe’ and the location of sexualities within Europe; sexualities on the peripheries of ‘West’;

· Challenging the Americanisation of queer studies;

· Geo-temporalities; geographical locations and temporal narratives of ‘progress’ and ‘backwardness’;

· Queer, trans and feminist approaches to gender politics in Europe;

· Activism, academia and equality politics in Europe;

· Sexuality and gender activism, and radical sexual politics in Europe;

· Sexual citizenship and dynamics of inclusion/exclusion in diverse European contexts;

· Homonationalism, racism and anti-muslim prejudice within European LGBT communities;

· Queer migration, mobility and Europe’s borders;

· The political geography of sexuality and sexual orientation in the European Union;

· Economic geographies of pornography, sex work and the sex industry in (and beyond) Europe;

· Diverse economies of LGBT lives – including and beyond the gentrification and commercialization debates;

· The lived experience sexuality in diverse urban and rural spaces – queering the countryside and the suburbs;

· Heteronormativity, homonormativity and changing sexual normativities in European contexts;

· Geographies of family life in different European contexts;

· The geographies of life outside the romantic couple: spaces of polyamory, non-monogamy and single life;

· Queer methods and methodologies; the rematerialization of queer studies;

· The intersections of queer theory with other critical theoretical approaches (including postcolonial studies, governmentality, historical materialism, and critical theory);

Language: we currently do not have funding for translation at the conference. We plan a multilingual conference, and encourage participants to present in the language they feel most comfortable using. We recognise that English is likely to be the language of convenience for many participants.

Cost: we aim to make the conference as affordable as possible for all participants, but especially those without access to institutional funding. We are seeking financial support to provide small travel bursaries for low waged participants and those from less privileged countries. The expected registration fees will be €150 (waged) and €50 (students/low waged).

Interested contributors should send a (250-word) abstract for a paper, or a short proposal for a session/panel discussion to pegs(at) by 30th April 2011.

Organizing team: Marianne Blidon (Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France) ; Gavin Brown (University of Leicester, UK); Kath Browne (University of Brighton, UK); Konstantinos Eleftheriadis (European University Institute); Eduarda Ferreira (FCSH, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal); Simon Hutta (researcher, Berlin/The Open University, UK); Robert Kulpa (Birkbeck, University of London, UK); Jenny Künkel (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany); Maarten Loopmans (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium); Xosé Santos Solla (University of Santiago Compostela, Spain); Paulo Jorge Vieira (Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal); Eleanor Wilkinson (University of Leeds, UK).

The conference is sponsored by the Space, Sexualities and Queer Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers). Further information about the conference can be found at

Dr Gavin Brown
Lecturer in Human Geography
University of Leicester

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